No matter how much you think you can DIY it, a seasoned pro can save you money and hassle.
Many of us think we can handle home buying or selling on our own —after all, we've got access to Internet listings, info, and search engines that we used to need a Realtor to find. We can list our home on sites like Zillow or Craigslist. With a long-running hot housing market, it may be tempting for sellers to think they don't need a realtor to market their property or bring buyers to them.
Of course, a buyer doesn't pay a Realtor's fees—the seller does that, for both parties. But for buyers or sellers, opting out of using a Realtor can be a choice that costs you thousands.
Here are 5 reasons to use a Realtor.
They are matchmakers.
After years of sales and plenty of practice, the best Realtors have an eye for matching people with properties that fit -- the kind where you walk in the door and feel like you’re home. They also may know of properties that aren’t on the market where owners might consider an offer to entice them to sell. Taking advantage of that network and matching skill just might help you land the house of your dreams. Even more important? They can bring qualified, interested, and legitimate buyers to the table. Without a Realtor, you end up entertaining every looky Lou and tire kicker who wants a peek at your property.
They've got an eye for inspection.
Realtors aren't as emotional about the process as you may be. They know what to look for, from tricky foundations to dicey neighbors. They can spot bad renovation jobs and hasty cover-ups, as well as see potential and good bones that make a property a worthwhile investment.
They can negotiate.
Many Realtors have master-level training and experience in negotiation—and finding one who can do it well can save you money, aggravation, and heartbreak. A Realtor with these skills, who is well-liked and respected, can bring leverage to the bargaining table and ensure your offer has the best chance of being accepted.
They know the neighborhood.
Realtors know the drill on the area they serve. They know what areas are up and coming, where values are trending, how the schools rate. They've got the scoop on crime and safety concerns, what commute times are, how traffic is, and all about amenities like parks, shops, recreational centers. But most importantly, they've got access to comparable sales in the area and can guide and advise you based on that data so that you don't overpay for or underprice your home.
They know the paperwork.
The documents required for a home sale are complex and abundant. Are you the type to read every word of a legal document and know exactly what you're committing to for every box you initial and page you sign? If not, you'd do best to have an experienced pro help you decipher, summarize, and question any document that comes your way to ensure your interests are legally protected.
It's tempting to want to save some money or just start looking at houses by ourselves without feeling "sold" or committed, but finding an agent you click with can help ensure you wind up in the best possible house at the best possible price.